April the month of energy and utility bill rises

Council taxes and water bills are also going up from the month of April for many people, added to the rising cost of food and household items.

One estimate suggests that a typical consumer is now facing a £73 a month increase in bills, of which about £58 is from rising energy costs.

The added cost pressures set to come into play in April threatens to obliterate even the most finely tuned budgets.

The Office for National Statistics said that low earners, renters, parents, people with disabilities, unemployed people and divorcees were least able to afford a bill shock.

Even before the latest increases, charity Citizens Advice said that in March, it referred 24,752 people to food banks or to other charitable support, up by 44% compared to the same month last year.

The government has said it was taking “decisive action” to help people with the cost of living, including a £200 reduction to energy bills in October – which needs to be paid back in instalments, and a £150 reduction in council tax bills for 80% of billpayers.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak told the BBC’s Newscast: “I’m confident in what we’ve done. I know it’s tough for people. We’re facing a very difficult situation with the price of things going up and I want to do what we can to ameliorate some of that, but I’m also honest with people that we can’t ameliorate all of it, sadly.”

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